Saturday, November 29, 2008

IBM's "Next Five in Five"

IBM has once again unveiled it's venerable "Next Five in Five" list detail five innovations that will change our lives in the next five years. The third annual list is based on current technologies, market and society trends to predict the technologies that will have the biggest impact on our lives in the next five years. They include:

Solar Power: Citing advancements in solar power technology IBM believes solar power gathering surfaces will be placed on nearly every man made surface including roof tops, side walks, paved roads, painted surfaces, tinted windows and portable devices such as phones, laptops even clothing. Solar panels used to be big, bulky and very expensive. But thanks to advancements in solar "film" from companies like First Solar, energy gathering cells can be "stamped" onto film and placed on nearly any surface.

DNA Analysis: IBM predicts that DNA analysis, which the company predicts will cost less than $200, will give us a so called "crystal ball" to view what health risks we will be exposed too ,much like the basis of the futuristic world of Gattaca. We will also be able to see what we are not at risk for. IBM also says that DNA mapping will lead to new more effective medicines.

The Talking Web: IBM predicts that searching the internet with our voices will become a wide spread technology that will make the web more accessible worldwide, particularly for those who cannot read or write.

Digital Shopping Assistants: IBM predicts that the advancement in mobile technologies will change the way we shop enabling devices to read product ratings from other consumers, download coupons and send photos to contacts for opinions. IBM also predicts that there will be digital shopping assistants in fitting rooms, touchscreen and voice activated kiosks that can also alert employees to your needs.

The Memory Aid Network: IBM says forgetting will become a thing of the past thanks to a vast network of portable and smart devices that will record every detail of our lives and conversations to propagate "smart" notifications such as reminding to pickup a prescription when we drive by a pharmacy. The legal ramifications make this a difficult one to swallow.

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